Connect with us
Prague Gaming & TECH Summit 2024

Latest News

BOS rejects the government’s proposal to raise the gambling tax

Published

on

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) today submits its advisory statement to the Ministry of Finance on the memorandum “Increased gambling tax”.

The memorandum proposes an increase in gambling tax from 18% to 22%, to apply from 1 July 2024. BOS rejects the proposal.

– The government can hardly time its proposal to raise the gambling tax to a worse time. We are in a situation where fewer and fewer players choose to play on the safe licensed market, and more and more on the unregulated, unlicensed gambling market. That the government proposes to raise the tax for licensed gambling is the best Christmas present you can think of – to the unregulated and unlicensed gambling market, says Gustaf Hoffstedt.

The memorandum in English can be found below:

Referral statement Fi2023/02665, Increased gambling tax

About BOS
The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) is here issuing its opinion on
the memorandum “Increased gambling tax”, in which it is proposed that the excise tax
on gambling be increased from 18 to 22 percent as of July 1, 2024.
BOS represents twenty gambling companies that operate on the Swedish gambling
market.1 This makes us the largest trade association in Sweden within our industry. All
members have a license/permit issued by Spelinspektionen.

BOS recommendation

BOS rejects the proposal to raise the gambling tax.
Our motives for the rejection
The goal of the gambling market, as described by the government, “is a healthy and
safe gambling market under public control”. In addition, according to the government,
revenues for the common good must be protected, the negative consequences of
gambling must be reduced, gambling for money must be covered by strong consumer
protection and cannot be misused for criminal activities.
BOS believes that the proposal for a tax increase is in conflict with all of the government’s stated goals for the gambling market. It is connected with the fact that the implementation of a tax increase on gambling will lead to a reduced channelization to the
Swedish regulated gambling market, something that is also expressed by several other
reference bodies, including the Swedish Gambling Authority.

In contrast, the un-licensed and not infrequently illegal gambling market in Sweden will gain market share
if the proposal to raise the gambling tax is implemented.

It is connected with the fact that a tax increase on licensed gambling further
strengthens the competitiveness of unlicensed gambling in Sweden, which
correspondingly increases in attractiveness when Swedish gambling consumers have
to make decisions about where their gambling will take place. A product subject to
high tax is less attractive than a comparable product subject to low or no tax.
Channelization
The concept of channelization refers to what proportion of Swedes’ gambling takes
place on the licensed market designated by the state, and what proportion takes place
on the unlicensed market in Sweden. Ideally, all gambling should take place on the
licensed market, but in practice this is impossible to achieve, especially when it comes
to online gambling, which by its very nature is cross-border. Sweden’s unofficial
channelization target has therefore been set at 90 percent. In other words, it is
acceptable (but not desirable) with a leakage to the unlicensed gambling market of no
more than 10 percent. If the leakage becomes greater than that, the goals of the
gambling policy are considered to be unachievable.
Unfortunately, Sweden’s channelization target must now be described as “unofficial”,
with reference to the fact that the government seems to have distanced itself from the
target in recent years. What was initially a clearly defined goal from both the government and the Riksdag, at least in the political debate, has in recent years rather been referred to as an expectation, assessment or forecast.
To the extent that a government and Riksdag decision is needed to establish Sweden’s
90 percent target, we strongly recommend that the government take this initiative,
and thus not distance itself from this gambling policy goal by calling it something other
than a goal or objective (for example assessment). It is in the government’s own
interest that there is a channelization goal and any way to distance oneself from this
harms the government and the legitimacy of the licensing system, and what is worse
harms Sweden’s gambling consumers.
The reason why the government should under no circumstances undermine the goal of
at least 90 percent channelization is that a high ditto is a basic prerequisite for all other
goals of gambling policy. A high channelization goal is a goal to reach all other goals.
These other goals can be summarized as:
– That consumer protection is strong
– That unhealthy gambling is kept to the lowest possible level
– That crime is pushed back
– That the state receives good tax revenue from gambling
– That the licensed gambling companies have good profitability and good conditions
– That the licensing system has high legitimacy
The government states as a motive for raising the tax that “[t]he current tax rate of 18
percent has applied since the Swedish gambling market was reregulated in 2019. The
gambling market has since stabilized, and channelization has increased significantly.”
It is a claim and a description of reality that we dare to say that the government is
quite alone. In the memorandum, the government presents no more recent figures
than those presented by the Swedish Agency for Public Management (Swe: Statskontoret), which originate from 2021, in a report on the gambling market.
It is unfortunate that the state has not produced more recent data than this, and it is
unfortunate that the government has not taken on board new data presented by
actors other than the state. BOS was able to show half a year ago that the
channelization in March 2023 was 77 percent for all competitive gambling (that is, all
gambling not protected by monopoly).
It is a channelization that testifies that the Swedish licensing market is in a very serious situation.
The BOS report also broke down the competitive gambling market into its various
components, such as sports betting and online casino. The gambling vertical online
casino, along with online poker, showed the very weakest channelization at 72 percent. That in such a situation there is no room for measures that further damage
channelization – which a tax increase on gambling does – should be obvious.
In addition to BOS’s channelization report, which was carried out by opinion institute
SKOP, the gambling company ATG has had the channelization measured using a
different methodology and presented it in a report. ATG’s measurement mirrors the
BOS report in terms of channelization in general in the gambling market (only 1
percentage point separates the two measurements). On the other hand, the ATG measurement shows an even worse position for the gambling vertical online casino.

Considering ATG’s channelization report, where channelization has fallen dramatically
since the Swedish re-regulation in 2019, it is difficult to even know how to relate to the
government’s claim that “[the] gambling market has since stabilized, and
channelization has increased significantly.” In a later report from ATG, which extends
to Q3 2023, channelization has further fallen to 70 percent channelization for the overall license market and 59 percent channelization for online casino.7
In addition to the above quote from the government testifying that the government
simply lacks a basis for its claim, it demonstrates another, general, shortcoming in the
government’s memorandum: the lack of data, basis, preparation, and analysis.
Examples of the absence of analysis concern the proposal’s impact on the media and
the sports movement. Both of these social actors are major recipients of money from
the gambling industry. A cost increase for the licensed gambling industry of SEK 0.5
billion annually (the increased tax revenue estimated by the government) has to come
from somewhere, and this will by all accounts happen at least in part through reduced
advertising in traditional media and reduced sports sponsorship. The government has
nothing to say about how the media and the sports movement are affected by the government’s proposal. There are no impact analyzes in the government’s memorandum on this.
Through advertisements in, for example, the daily press and sponsorship of sports
teams, awareness of the brands of the licensed betting companies is increased. Such
marketing and sponsorship thus promote the Swedish gambling market, in that
licensed gambling companies are top of mind when the gambling consumer chooses
an operator for its gambling. In addition, of course, the money from the gambling
industry is of great use in the daily recruitment of both sports associations and newsrooms, for their respective important tasks in our democratic society.
The government’s memorandum is not only incomplete in that it does not highlight
and analyze the consequences for important social actors. In addition, the small
approach to analysis that is actually presented in the memorandum seems to be
poorly executed. The government calculates the expected increased tax revenue at
SEK 539 million. There is no calculation for increased costs for the expected increased
gambling addiction, as a consequence of players migrating to unlicensed gambling, in
the analysis. In addition, there is a complete lack of calculations on the extent of lost
tax revenue due to the fact that the tax increase results in reduced channelization, as
well as in general reduced gambling on the license market because the price of
gambling products is raised.
With regard to price sensitivity (price elasticity), the figure -0.5 is used in the memo –
that is, not price sensitive – which is information taken from the inquiry “A reregulated
gambling market”. The information in the inquiry in turn refers to an external report
from 2014 from Great Britain.8 However, the UK document indicates a higher price
elasticity for certain gambling products, including online casino with a figure of -1.5
(high price sensitivity), but this fact – that gambling decreases when the price of
certain gambling products is increased – is completely omitted from the government’s
memorandum. The government’s estimated increase in tax revenues of just over SEK
0.5 billion annually therefore appears to be pure wishful thinking based on incorrect
assumptions.

Optimal tax rate

On behalf of BOS, in 2016 the consulting firm Copenhagen Economics had an optimal
tax level calculated for Swedish conditions, ahead of the Swedish re-regulation in
2019.9 As far as we know, it is the most detailed investigation that has been done based on Swedish conditions, and the report had a noticeable impact on the government’s and the Riksdag’s decision to set the gambling tax at 18 percent gross gaming
revenue.
Copenhagen’s Economics report presents an optimal range for the state to stay within,
15-20 percent. A tax rate above 20 percent means lost channelization, but also in the
long term reduced tax revenue, in accordance with a classic Laffer curve. There is no
reason to believe that the state can now, compared to the years before the Swedish
reregulation of the gambling market, be able to deviate from the presented tax range
without damaging the license market. On the contrary, today’s critically low
channelization bears witness that the tax in this sensitive situation should under no
circumstances be increased. Instead, the government and the Riksdag should urgently
devote themselves to reforms that strengthen channelization.

Reforms that strengthen channelization

In this context, BOS would like to conclude by raising a finger of warning for the superstition we see when governments – the current one as well as the previous one – propose new repressive measures on the gambling market. Repressive measures aim to
make it difficult for and exclude unlicensed gambling companies from the Swedish
gambling market. Examples of such measures are so-called B2B permits, payment
blocks and bans on promoting unlicensed operators.
We are generally positive about such measures, and we see their complementary task
as absolutely crucial to succeed in maintaining a high channelization. Complementary
in the sense of reinforcing a gambling license market that is fundamentally perceived
as attractive by the player collective. We object, however, to the fact that governments seem to live in the delusion that the attractiveness of the gambling license
market can be worsened (for example, by raising the gambling tax) without this
worsening the channelization, as long as the deterioration is met with repressive
measures to shut out unlicensed gambling. All experience, from Sweden and a number
of jurisdictions where our members operate, shows that this is an incorrect
assumption. In addition, governments tend to mortgage strengthened channelization
through intensified repression already in advance, not infrequently before the
repressive measures have even been put into effect.
Repressive measures strengthen and promote the licensed gambling market when this
is fundamentally perceived as attractive by the player collective. It is the customers
who decide whether the gambling should take place on the licensed market or not. No
countermeasures in the world, at least in the democracies of the Western world, can
stop the outflow of gambling consumers if the consumers do not consider that the
gambling offer they are given on the license market is sufficiently attractive.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Latest News

Time to Invest in Crypto? SOFTSWISS 2023 iGaming Market Overview

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

In 2023, crypto bets expanded by more than 20%, as reported by SOFTSWISS. The leading technology company, with over 15 years of expertise in iGaming and number one in crypto-optimised software, shares its analysis of the dynamic crypto landscape.

According to industry research, the global iGaming market is projected to double by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%. Revenues are expected to exceed 140 billion euro, with a significant share attributed to crypto gambling. 

SOFTSWISS, as the innovator in crypto iGaming software development, regularly conducts research to track the dynamics of crypto within the iGaming market. Using extrapolation, comparative and correlative analysis, experts analyse the data gathered from over 600 crypto-friendly brands powered by the company.

iGaming Market Overview

Based on SOFTSWISS data, the iGaming market had a stable expansion in 2023. In absolute terms in euro, the Total Bet Sum grew by 38.2% year-on-year. At the same time, the Total Bet Count displayed an even stronger increase, surpassing 51.2%

The average bet is slightly decreasing for several reasons. One significant factor is the broader reach of online gaming, fueled by advanced technology and increased internet availability. This trend is more evident in emerging markets like LatAm and Africa, where bets are usually smaller. Additionally, the increasing number of players under 30 with budget constraints adds to the decline in the average bet size.

State of Crypto

The in-depth quarterly analysis, initiated at the beginning of 2022, reveals that fiat bets are undergoing more substantial growth compared to crypto bets. In Q4’23, the Crypto Bet Sum saw an 8.2% rise in absolute terms, while the Fiat Bet Sum surged by 16.4% compared to Q3’23. At the end of 2023, the crypto share in the Total Bets Sum (27.5%)  decreased by 3.9 p.p.

The comparative analysis of the 2023 Crypto Bet Sum against  the previous year shows 21.1% growth. Simultaneously, the Crypto Bet Count increased by 50.5% year-on-year. The growing number of bets indicates rising interest in crypto gaming, but the greater availability of digital currencies may lead to slightly more economical bets.

“The advantages of employing digital currencies, such as swift transactions and anonymity, are key drivers for many players. Given these dynamics, the market demands expanding iGaming projects’ opportunities for crypto players. The in-game currency conversion, for example, allows operators to engage players with cryptocurrency assets in games initially designed for fiat transactions. The projects that embrace such possibilities continue gaining more advantageous market positions,” shares Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS.

Crypto Bet Stabilisation

The average fiat bet remained steady at around 0.82 euro throughout the previous year. Despite fluctuations in the average crypto bet during 2023, ranging from 1.59 to 1.88 euro, the changes appear modest compared to the twofold drop observed in the average crypto bet during Q4’22, which reached 1.56 euros. This indicates a certain level of stabilisation in the average crypto bet throughout 2023. 

Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS, comments: The dynamics of the average crypto bet align with crypto market fluctuations. When digital currency values stabilised in H2 2022, the average crypto bet also levelled out. Another thing is that the average crypto bet is almost two times higher than the average fiat bet, which testifies that digital currencies are potentially used by players with higher incomes. Operators should consider this to increase project profitability.”

Cryptocurrencies Rating

The Top Five most operated digital coins in iGaming landscape have remained stable during the last two years. 

In 2023, the cryptocurrency structure looks as follows:

  • Bitcoin – 73.3%
  • Ethereum – 9.9%
  • Litecoin – 6.6% 
  • Tether – 4.6%
  • Dogecoin – 3.1%

In Q4 2023, Bitcoin experienced a slight decline by a 5.7 p.p. compared to Q3 2023. Conversely, Ethereum and Litecoin showed growth of 4.7 p.p. and 2.2 p.p., respectively, during the same period.

Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS, summarises: “The digital currencies market is rapidly expanding, with estimates showing over 50% growth in capitalisation in 2023. Despite the risks caused by the high volatility of crypto and its dependence on various factors, using it can bring extra profits for operators. The iGaming industry is promising for investments due to growth in both fiat and crypto markets, but success depends on trustworthy and experienced partners.

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

 

Continue Reading

Latest News

MGA Games joins forces with Solverde.pt, consolidating its presence in Portugal

Published

on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

MGA Games, developer of localised slot games for global operators, has taken another step in its bid to expand in Portugal. The innovative provider of online casino slot games has completed the integration of part of its production portfolio into Solverde.pt, one of the main operators in the country. It is the largest online casino in Portugal, with more than 2,000 games, including slot games, Roulette, Blackjack and French Bank.

From this moment on, Solverde.pt players can enjoy MGA Games’ greatest hits, including Velho Oeste Mania Megaways, Paulo Futre The Last Gladiator, Elisabete Moutinho Capitã Nemo, Fanny Rodrigues Golden Throne and Popeye Caça Tesouros, among others. Megaways, 5-reel and 3-reel slot games that stand out for their excellent animation, quality of graphics and latest technology. A catalogue to be updated regularly for all Portuguese casino players.

With this agreement, the renowned online casino operator Solverde.pt will continue growing and acquiring fame and notoriety among the most demanding players, thanks to the quality of MGA Games productions.

Sérgio Pascoal, Solverde’s Head of R&D, says: “We are thrilled to introduce MGA Games, a leading Spanish studio in the world of iGaming, to our casino, bringing to our players their expertise in game branding, showcasing personalities from the realms of sports, reality shows, and media entertainment.” He added that “With a commitment to being different, MGA Games promises a unique and exciting journey and that’s what we always aim to bring to our players at Solverde.pt”.

Javier Lanfranchi, Sales Director at MGA Games, comments: “We are confident that our localised slots games will impress Solverde.pt players and make them feel the true excitement of the game. “We share a passion for entertainment, and we reflect this by offering top-notch content of great value to operators.”

Continue Reading

Latest News

WA.Africa Market Expansion: WA.Technology’s Vision Unfolds at SiGMA Africa

Published

on

Reading Time: 3 minutes

WA.Technology proudly confirms its attendance at the upcoming SiGMA Africa 2024 iGaming event. WA.Technology is enhancing its footprint across Africa via fresh iGaming experiences tailored for the African audience with its newly upgraded WA.Platform and African-specific WA.Africa omnichannel platform.

WA.Technology will present its full spectrum of B2B iGaming solutions at Booth 04S at the second edition of SiGMA Africa.

It takes place 11 – 13 March at the Sun Exhibits – GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. Thousands of visitors can explore the latest trends in African iGaming and network over three days and enjoy insightful panels alongside the SiGMA Africa Awards.

Central to WA.Technology’s showcase will be the WA.Africa platform, specifically engineered to address the unique needs and preferences of the African market. WA.Africa emphasises omnichannel flexibility, seamlessly integrating mobile, retail, and online gaming experiences enhanced with AI-driven customisation and gamification powered by a knowledgeable regional team.

WA.Africa is part of a joint venture with respected African iGaming experts NE Group. NE Group has an established presence in Africa and has substantial expertise in creating successful platforms explicitly designed for the African market.

WA.Africa incorporates various versatile and captivating features to drive traffic for increased acquisition, engagement and retention while offering enjoyable tailored experiences for players, including:

  • Retail and online functions applied to land-based operations.
  • Mobile-first responsive design.
  • Data-driven BI reporting and dashboard tools.
  • Real-time performance tracking engine.
  • Certified live feed and odds feed integration.
  • Intelligent and flexible PAM.
  • Reactive CMS and CRM capabilities.
  • Auto and manual bonus management system.
  • Risk and trading management through Sportradar MTS
  • Wide range of adaptable betting features.
  • Automated KYC, fraud, and responsible gaming system.
  • Multi-affiliate system.

WA.Africa’s flexibility makes it ideal for operators looking to enter or expand within the region. Thanks to WA.Africa’s market specialists, the platform ensures operators can offer their customers a rich and engaging experience for African players and positions WA.Technology as a key player in the continent.

Visitors will also discover the updated WA.Platform, now more engaging and rewarding after significant enhancements. Highlighted at ICE London 2024, it introduces player-centric innovations such as a Casino AI tailored to individual behaviours, an AI-powered, localised CMS, and extensive customisation for brands and players. With improved back office support, advanced reporting, a versatile dashboard, a user-friendly site editor, upgraded security, and a contemporary design, WA.Platform ensures a personalised, secure, and immersive gaming experience for all users.

WA.Technology continuously seeks betterment, as demonstrated by new game options from WA.Fantasy and WA.Lottery – two of WA.Technology’s fastest-growing verticals – that proved popular hits at ICE London 2024 in an exciting fantasy and lottery free prize giveaway. Explore these innovative gaming solutions firsthand at SiGMA Africa Booth 04S.

At the recent SBC Summit Rio, poker enthusiasts enjoyed a unique, free-to-enter tournament hosted by WA.Technology that served as an ideal prelude to the Brazilian event.

WA.Technology’s fully optimised sports betting vertical WA.Sports will attract significant attention. WA.Sports provides an extensive range of betting options on global sports events, 500,000 pre-match and 360,000 live events,
complemented by the latest features such as live betting, cashout options, and tailored demographic marketing for African audiences.

Attendees can also learn more about WA.Casino, the ultimate end-to-end solution for launching a bespoke, feature-rich online casino that provides access to 6800+ games and 70+ top providers through a single API integration. Its complete customisation, rapid go-live capabilities, and extensive managed services ensure superior client satisfaction and player experience.

SiGMA Africa celebrates the continent’s immense growth potential and WA.Technology is eager to highlight its diverse range of unique, bespoke and client-centric products and services that meet the specific needs of African operators and players.

For more information about WA.Technology and its full spectrum of iGaming solutions, arrange to meet the team at Booth 04S during SiGMA Africa.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.